Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just A Ride In The Country - - - -

We've had a lot of fog here in Bellingham lately - from early morning until early afternoon - a peek at the sun - and then fog from mid afternoon on.  So it was a pleasant surprise on Saturday to see some sun coming through the fog.  We thought a ride would be perfect - get out and see the autumn colors - get some photos - just a nice ride in the country.

Well the sunshine didn't last long - but we saw some amazing sun dogs - see the sun right at the top middle?

The sun - through the fog.  It looks like a full moon - but was really the sun

We saw a big rooster
He sits in front of an abandoned drive-in - too bad it closed, but the rooster still stands guard.
We saw a friend's house - painted blue after she sold it and moved away - I miss her.

We saw pretty leaves and ferns - changing into their autumn finery.
We saw hillsides of colored trees
And the sun came back - we are up in the hills now, above the fog.  Two alpacas graze in the pasture.

I think the trees look like an Impressionist painting

We saw red and yellow leaves

And just yellow leaves along a country road
 We saw reflections of mountains and trees in Silver Lake

 Leafless trees reflected in the still waters of the lake
Two tree dancing - the fog came and went, but the trees danced on
We could see the fog from the mountains - it is persistent this time of the year

We saw a fun sign for picking apples.  Washington apples are so very delicious!
 We saw bright red bushes

And then - there it was!!!!
Wait - stop!!! Turn around!!! I must get this view of Mt. Baker
We had been down this road dozens of times - and never saw Mt. Baker -  what a view.  And the strangest thing is - I took this photo from the driveway of a house that we once considered renting when we first moved to Washington 12 years ago.  We decided that it was too far from town - oh, but if the mountain had been out that day we might have changed our minds.

And then . . . .

Wait - stop!!!!  What are the people in those parked cars looking at?  Turn around please - I MUST get photos.
A small herd of American Elk - I've heard about them, but never seen them up here.  There were 8 total - some females and young males.  We didn't see any with the large sets of antlers.
They were grazing way out in the clearing - I had to use the highest zoom on the camera. 
Cars were stopping - some were turning around - everyone was talking about the elk and how fortunate we were to see them.


There were 8 in the herd - it was hard to get them all together - they kept wandering about as they grazed.
And so it wasn't just a ride in the country - it was a spectacular ride in the country - something always surprises us then we take a ride - so much to see - just have to keep your eyes open and have a wonderful driver who will constantly stop and make U-turns and park along side the road and watch for traffic - it is a magical combination.

What has surprised you on a ride in the country?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A few things in my studio

 I've always called my craft/sewing/quilting/knitting/crocheting/be-jeweling room my studio - it bunches it all together and I like the sound of it.  Recently I've had a few people tell me that I should downsize - get rid of the unnecessary things in the studio. What?? There are unnecessary things in there?  I think not.

While we are chatting today, let's look at some of the things I've created over the years.

I like to paint - the bird and the green water are my paintings - I also love to receive paintings - the tall ships painting was done by a friend, from one of my own photos.

I've often heard people say that they feel bad having all their craft supplies, all their fabric, that sort of thing.  They say that they have it and don't use it consistently and should "purge".  Well, the few times I've gotten rid of some crafting or sewing item I've had to go out and buy more, and you know it is always more expensive the second time.

Crocheting and knitting keep my hands busy - and my mind can follow any flight of fancy it chooses - such a soothing pastime.

Let's talk a bit about what we do.  I like to sew, knit, crochet, do rock work, paint, redo furniture (on a small scale), embroider, do leatherwork - and probably a lot more.  I'm a very busy thrifter (bet you didn't know that about me, did you?) and when I come across cheap crafting items at yard sales or thrift shops, I will plunk them into my basket.  Recently I got a bag full of different sized styrofoam tree shapes - I didn't have an idea in mind - but for 1.00 for so many I just couldn't pass up the chance that I'd want them at some time.  No regular prices for me - no siree.  Now that I've had them a while I can think of all sorts of trees to make for the holidays - pine cone trees, ribbon trees, ric rac rose trees - oh the ideas are endless and if I went to pinterest I bet that I'd find a lot more things to do with them.

Fond memories of Ben and Jahn-Zyel at our house, creating something from their own imagination.

I don't think we should apologize for having hobbies - I don't think that we should feel that we should be doing something besides creating.  Creativity is essential to our lives - it makes our minds soar -  it brings happiness in the finished product and it can be a lovely gift in the end, or a prized possession.  We can teach others our crafts - we can share time together, contentedly working on projects with family and friends.

Beadwork, painting on rocks, fabric ornaments and angels made from vintage hankies 

I find it fascinating when I meet someone that truly enjoys their art or their craft - no excuses -  no apologies - just pure, clear enjoyment.  That is the way crafting or art is supposed to be - it is there to open your eyes and your heart to the beauty around you.  Freely enjoyed.

Market bags. I stitched random quilt blocks that I've made, onto canvas bags. In Bellingham you have to bring your own bags for shopping - plastic bags are banned in Bellingham.  I made these bags years before the plastic bag ban.

Too often I hear people bemoan the fact that they have spent an entire day, lost in a project. What a thrill that should be - to wander about in the project, enjoying the feel of the materials used, the sight of the project coming into being, the thrill of finishing a project (or a step in the process) and truly rejoicing in it all.

Pin cushions, needle keeps - felt projects are such fun - and grandchildren can join in the fun with felt.

Let your spirit soar - enjoy your creative space - even if it is the end of the kitchen table - or a tiny tv tray set on the coffee table, or a little desk is a walk-through closet, full of beads, or wood, paints or pencils, fabrics, yarns -  oh so many choices. 

Painting on wooden cut outs - I used to teach classes too, and cut out the wood shapes myself.

When I've been creating I feel so much better, it lifts my spirits.  When I am making something that is going to be a gift I ponder my friendship/relationship with that person - putting the fond memories into the project.  When I make a quilt for someone I always sleep one night under the quilt - giving it a blessing to be taken to the new recipient.

Teddy bears with their new outfits, plastic canvas easter house basket with fabric easter eggs, crewel embroidery and needlepoint pillows

My hope is that you enjoy your crafting and creating time like a little child enjoys being completely submerged in their current project, be it a coloring book or a mud puddle that begs to be jumped into.  Raise your arms and shout - sing a song - hum a tune - listen to nature - and all the while - feel the creativity that flows from you to your project.  Bask in the sunshine that lingers a bit in your crafting space.

The hen and rooster set in the top left I made from a kit from Sitka Bazaar when I was 16.  Definitely dated.  The other two sets are recently finished projects.

I like to embroider - some times I make dishtowels with days of the week patterns, teddy bears, fruit, birdies, sunbonnet ladies - there is no end to the possibilities.  I like the rhythm of the stitches - the pulling of the thread through the fabric, the soft whisper of the thread, the design that grows stitch by stitch.  I don't need more dishtowels, and probably those who I give some to don't need any more either, but that is part of the fun - making something that is not necessary, a whimsy, a delight.

Quilts were my main crafting for many years.  

I make useful things too - as well as decorative - both are as much fun to create.  Right now I'm working on chrismtas gifts - and snowflakes - what a joy to have creative outlets and the enjoy every minute of them.  

Photography is a very enjoyable art/hobby.  Don asked me what my best photo was, and I had to answer - "the next one I take".  It is one of my favorite pastimes and hobbies.

I know that some of you are not crafters/sewers/knitters - but we can all enjoy the results of those that love to create.  One time I heard someone say they were not crafty at all - but they had made the most fabulous displays in their antique store, which is a very useful art.  I think we all create in some way - some tell stories of the past - some write - some make memorable parties - some cook (simple or fancy) - some inspire others to create - some listen.

What lovelies have you been creating? And if not - let's go!!

If you hear a voice within you that says you can't paint - then by all means, paint - that voice will be silenced. - Van Gogh

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Few Things

After being away from my blog for over a week and a big adventure to the ER with a very mean, and large kidney stone - I'm back again.  I had time to ponder a few things recently.

I've enjoyed the blog parties and memes and all the fun, but I'm feeling pressure, probably mostly from myself, to conform my posts to the blog parties, make another blog post, get in on the parties - whoa - slow down there Nellie.  I think for now I will post what I see when I'm out and about, and give myself a break from what has come to feel  like competition.  It is great for some people - it isn't great for me right now.  I will, however, keep visiting and commenting on all the wonderful blog parties and memes - I  love to see what everyone is up to.

Friday I had a nice, easy, slower day (just got back from the hospital late Thursday night).  I slept in, had a lovely breakfast by myself and did a few rounds on the crocheted tablecloth I'm working on for our round table.  I read a little, had some cinnamon tea and picked out a few ideas for handmade christmas gifts - and no, I'm not going to share those ideas, because "somebodies" read my blog and I want these to be a surprise.  It was a lovely day, and in the afternoon I baked a little apple pie - the pie pan is about 7" - just the right size.   Don grilled dinner and then we had pie later with  a dollop of good vanilla ice cream, and a cup of tea.

The weekend before this all happened we had some great fun shopping at thrift stores and one giant yard sale.  It is run by people who do something with dogs, but I wasn't able to find out what they do with the dogs, but it seems they are very helpful people.  They certainly have great contributors to their yard sale - and they price things to sell.  We thought we were getting there just about closing time, but we went anyway - people were coming and going so we went in.  It was 4:55.  I heard another customer ask one of the workers what time they closed - and she laughingly said - "4 o'clock".  The ladies were all so pleasant and never complained that they were staying for over an hour after closing time.

 I loaded my shopping cart (now that's a good idea, a shopping cart at an indoor yard sale) and after making two trips through all the rooms, I was ready for check out.  Four big boxes - and the average price of an item was 35 cents - whoopeee I love good yard sales.

More lovelies from the indoor yard sale.  The  background is a spring tablecloth (2.00) and the napkins and napkin rings were 25 cents each.  I love the belt with buckle napkin rings - perfect for a summer barbecue.

There was a set of Corelle Pansy dishes - do I want those?

16 dinner plates and 12 sandwich plates - do I want those - they are so pretty, perfect for springtime.

And a platter - YES, I do want those - all those pieces for $10.00 total - load those into that cart, move over other dishes, here come the pansies.  I have green edged Corelle cereal bowls, like the platter edge, that will go with this set, so I have enough for big family gatherings in the spring.  Aren't they the prettiest things?  

I've been looking for an empty silverware chest for some time - and not found one.  I emailed a craigslist ad a couple weeks ago and never heard back. I left my cell phone number, hoping she would call, and after two weeks figured it was a lost cause.  Just as we were leaving the big yard sale, she called. 

We were half way between our house and her house - how lucky can we be - and so we drove up to her house - the chest is marvelous.  Two  drawers and the lift up lid - in perfect condition and all she was asking was 15.00 - which I gladly paid.

Bottom Drawer

My silver serving pieces have been overflowing the part of the drawer they've been sharing with the other flatware - so this is the perfect solution.

Top Drawer

Top lift-up lid - oh my there is still space in each area - 
 I might even have to buy a few more serving pieces, just to fill the chest up.

Then Saturday we stopped at Value Village and Goodwill - I had something in mind, but can't remember now what it was - so we strolled through all the lovely things in both stores

and came out with some very nice dishes - of course dishes - you didn't think I could pass up dishes did you?  I knew you didn't.

Blue checked dishes - be still my heart - they were so lovely - I found 4 plates - 8 flat soup bowls and 3 cups and saucers.  They are not old, but they are lovely.  I've looked them up on ebay and they come in lavender checks and green checks - oh my - the temptation.  So far I've managed to resist.

  It was a good weekend, and good memories to keep in my mind while the mean old kidney stone was messing up my week.  All is fine now - It is all over and I can get back to doing things I like, like blogging - this has been fun.  Thanks for stopping by.  And thanks to those who emailed and wondered where I had been.  I really appreciate each of you who visit my blog.